The instant New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the “riveting thriller” (PopSugar) Then She Was Gone delivers another suspenseful page-turner about a shocking murder in a picturesque and well-to-do English town, perfect “for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and Luckiest Girl Alive” (Library Journal).
Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.
As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.
One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.
Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…
In Lisa Jewell’s latest brilliant “bone-chilling suspense” (People) no one is who they seem—and everyone is hiding something. Who has been murdered—and who would have wanted one of their neighbors dead? As “Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace” (Booklist, starred review), you will be kept guessing until the startling revelation on the very last page.
DC Rose Pelham kneels down; she can see something behind the kitchen door, just in front of the trash can. For a minute she thinks it’s a bloodstained twist of tissue, maybe, or an old bandage. Then she thinks perhaps it is a dead flower. But as she looks at it more closely she can see that it’s a tassel. A red suede tassel. The sort that might once have been attached to a handbag, or to a boot.
It sits just on top of a small puddle of blood, strongly suggesting that it had fallen there in the aftermath of the murder. She photographs it in situ from many angles, and then, with her gloved fingers, she plucks the tassel from the floor and drops it into an evidence bag, which she seals.
She stands up and turns to survey the scene of the crime: a scruffy kitchen, old-fashioned pine units, a green Aga piled with pots and pans, a large wooden table piled with table mats and exercise books and newspapers and folded washing, a small extension to the rear with a cheap timber glazed roof, double doors to the garden, a study area with a laptop, a printer, a shredder, a table lamp.
It’s an innocuous room, bland even. A kitchen like a million other kitchens all across the country. A kitchen for drinking coffee in, for doing homework and eating breakfast and reading newspapers in. Not a kitchen for dark secrets or crimes of passion. Not a kitchen for murdering someone in.
But there, on the floor, is a body, splayed facedown inside a large, vaguely kidney-shaped pool of blood. The knife that had been used is in the kitchen sink, thoroughly washed down with a soapy sponge. The attack on the victim had been frenzied: at least twenty knife wounds to the neck, back, and shoulders. But little in the way of blood has spread to other areas of the kitchen—no handprints, no smear, no spatters—leading Rose to the conclusion that the attack had been unexpected, fast, and efficient and that the victim had had little chance to put up a fight.
Rose takes a marker pen from her jacket pocket and writes on the bag containing the red suede tassel.
Description: “Red suede/suedette tassel.”
Location: “In front of fridge, just inside door from hallway.”
Date and time of collection: “Friday, March 24, 2017, 11:48 p.m.”
It’s probably nothing, she muses, just a thing fallen from a fancy handbag. But nothing was often everything in forensics.
Nothing could often be the answer to the whole bloody thing.
Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial.
“Page one intrigued me. Page three hooked me. By page five, I was consumed. This compulsive, propulsive novel is both a seize-you-by-the-throat thriller and a genuinely moving family drama. Stellar.”
– A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
"Big Little Lies-esque small town drama with stakes as high as Amy from Gone Girl's IQ, Lisa Jewell's latest thriller is not to be missed."
"Watching You takes the idea of obsession to chilling heights."
"This suspense is going to have you turning the pages all night long."
"Stellar domestic drama...Expert misdirection keeps the reader guessing, and the rug-pulled-out-from-beneath-your-feet conclusion—coupled with one final, bonechilling revelation—is stunning. Best not to bet on anyone. A compulsive read guaranteed to please fans of A. J. Finn and Ruth Ware."
– Booklist (starred review)
"Jewell weaves a taut multiperspective, domestic/community suspense story that is sure to please fans of Ruth Ware and A.J. Finn."
– Library Journal (starred review)
"Lisa Jewell’s gripping novel Watching You unravels a tangled web of rumors—and a shocking twist."
– Real Simple
“[A] crafty conundrum…the author smoothly juggles multiple story lines…prepare to be blindsided by the murder victim’s identity, not revealed until late in the game—and an even more stunning final surprise. Jewell does a masterly job of maintaining suspense.”
– Publishers Weekly
“Jewell adeptly weaves together a complex array of characters in her latest thriller. The novel opens with the murder investigation and deftly maintains its intensity and brisk pace...Jewell's use of third-person narration allows her to explore each family's anxieties and sorrows, which ultimately makes this novel's ending all the more unsettling. An engrossing and haunting psychological thriller.”
– Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Then She Was Gone:
“Deftly combines an acutely observed family drama with bone-chilling suspense.”
“Then She Was Gone is a riveting thriller.”
“Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. There will surely be comparisons to novels such as Emma Donoghue’s Room (2010) as well as all of the “Girl” thrillers, but Jewell’s latest really isn’t at all derivative. Her multilayered characters are sheer perfection, and even the most astute thriller reader won’t see where everything is going until the final threads are unknotted. Those few who do guess early won’t mind, as the pace and prose will keep them hooked.”
– Booklist (starred review)
– US Weekly
“Jewell gets more riveting and twisty with every book she writes. Completely absorbing, fast-paced, well-written and with a shocking ending that will keep readers guessing, Then She Was Gone is a nearly pitch-perfect thriller. Fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins and Ruth Ware are sure to adore this haunting novel.”
– Shelf Awareness
“More than a whiff of The Lovely Bones wafts through this haunting domestic noir from bestseller Jewell…Skillfully told by several narrators, Jewell’s gripping novel is an emotionally resonant story of loss, grief, and renewal.”
– Publishers Weekly
"For thriller readers, Jewell's latest will not disappoint. Sharply written with twists and turns, it will please fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, or Luckiest Girl Alive."
– Library Journal
“In addition to being a complex and genuinely suspenseful narrative, Then She Was Gone is a rich study of the ways in which people respond to grief and how past trauma can continue to shape their decision-making and relationships years or decades later. Readers will be truly affected by Ellie’s real story once it’s revealed—and they’ll be satisfied by the hopeful yet bittersweet ending. Jewell demonstrates once again that she has what it takes to genuinely shock, surprise and move her readers.”
– Book Reporter
"What begins as a story about the mother of a missing girl starting a new relationship as she comes terms with her grief morphs into a gripping, disturbing and utterly fascinating tale about what really happened to young Ellie Mack. I've been a Lisa Jewell fan for a long time and in this book, as in all her others, she deftly weaves a compelling plot with an emotional depth that leaves you gasping. In Then She Was Gone she has created a book that is dark and claustrophobic but also heartfelt and moving. Then She Was Gone packs a huge emotional punch that will leave you winded. I loved it."